Luca Ferretti, Senior Researcher, Big Data Institute, University of Oxford
App-Based Contact Tracing: Epidemiological Rationale and Current Perspectives
Abstract: In the last months, app-based contact tracing appeared prominently in the public debate. Some highly relevant questions were often absent from this debate: what is the epidemiological rationale behind digital contact tracing? Which role could these apps play in the control of the COVID-19 epidemic? In this talk, I will summarise our understanding of COVID-19 epidemiology and SARS-CoV-2 transmission, highlighting how speed and efficiency are the main determinants of the effectiveness of contact tracing in controlling the epidemic, and the potential gains from digital solutions. I will present an overview of the current status of app-based solutions in several countries, with a focus on the limitations and challenges of existing implementations, and discuss digital improvements for Test&Trace strategies.
Biography: Luca Ferretti is a Senior Researcher in Pathogen Dynamics at the Big Data Institute, University of Oxford. His research focuses on the interplay of epidemiology, genetics, evolution and within-host dynamics in HIV and other viral pathogens such as FMDV, ASF and SARS-CoV-2. He is currently focused on COVID-19 epidemiology and digital contact tracing. He is a member of the task-force against COVID-19 of the Italian Ministry of Innovation and has actively supported the development of contact-tracing apps in Italy and England.